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Port Colborne, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Port Colborne, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Port Colborne is a city on Lake Erie, at the southern end of the Welland Canal. The original settlement, known as Gravelly Bay after the shallow, bedrock-floored bay upon which it sits, dates from 1832 and was renamed after Sir John Colborne, a British war hero and the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada at the time of the opening of the southern terminus of the First Welland Canal in 1833 when it was extended to reach Lake Erie.

Port Colborne was one of the hardest hit communities during the blizzard of 1977. Thousands of people were stranded when the city was paralyzed during the storm.

Maritime commerce, including supplying goods to the camps for the laborers who worked on the first canal, ship repair and the provisioning trade, was, and still is, an important part of Port Colborne’s economy. Port Colborne was a heavily industrial city throughout most of the early twentieth century. A grain elevator, two modern flour mills, a Vale nickel refinery, a cement plant and a blast furnace were major employers. Several of these operations have closed over the past thirty years, while others employ a lot less residents due to modernization and cutbacks.

Port Colborne has been successful attracting agro-business operations which process corn into products such as sweeteners and citric acid. The economy has gradually shifted towards tourism and recreation, taking advantage of the scenic beauty of the lake shore.

The Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, located near the center of town, is a resource for local history and archival research. In addition to a collection of historic buildings and artifacts, it opened up the “Marie Semley Research Wing” to foster research into local history; it was named to commemorate the long-standing efforts of a local resident who devoted hours to the museum.

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

44 King Street – 1835 – one of only a few stone structures in Port Colborne – The walls, made of limestone taken from the Welland Canal, are more than half a metre thick. The Georgian style of architecture is evident in the balanced three-bay-façade and centered doorway. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

322 King Street – Ingleside – It was built in 1867 for Charles H. Carter and occupied by the Carter family for 118 years, including Port Colborne’s first mayor, Dewitt Carter. The two-storey structure has projecting eaves supported by paired cornice brackets and corner quoins in dichromatic brick characteristic of Italianate architecture. Its rectangular plan with projecting frontispiece and hipped roof indicate it is a version of a house plan popularized by the magazine “The Canada Farmer” in 1865. The grounds are surrounded by a locally produced cast iron fence. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

380 King Street – The only example of Romanesque Revival in Port Colborne, this home was built about 1907 for Thomas Euphronius Reeb. The Romanesque is shown in its dark red brick and heavy cut stone window sills and lintels. The Queen Anne influence is evident in the octagonal tower with lard “band shell” verandah, wide round-arched first floor window with etched leaded glass and a line of terra cotta tiles with egg and dart motif under the eaves. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

296 Fielden Avenue – This magnificent stone and brick Victorian building was erected circa 1860 for Levi Cornwall. Lewis Carter had it redone in its present Italianate/Second Empire form about 1879 with ornately bracketed eaves, multiple bays, mansard roofs, an impressive three-storey tower with four double-hung “Port Colborne” windows, and round headed or elliptical shaped windows, some paired or tripled. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

346 Catharine Street – The former St. James’ Anglican Church Rectory (until 1957) was built in two stages with the eastern portion built for Lewis Carter c. 1875 and the western part was added when the house was purchased as a rectory in 1897. Note the two-storey bay window in the west wing, and round-headed windows capped with brick voussoirs which indicate the Italianate style. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

326 Catharine Street – The Harvie House built in 1900, it is a typical Queen Anne Revival style home and has a wraparound verandah with offset circular tower, two types of siding and a pyramidal roof. The house takes its name from the Harvie family who owned it from 1911 to 1951. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

14 Catharine Street – Wildwood – c. 1875 – This house displays an eclectic mix of late Victorian styles with a mix of bays, an oriel window and turret on its north side in contrast to the restrained Greek Revival style of the east and south facades. It began as a small two-storey brick house built by William Arnott on the lake shore in 1876. In 1886 it was purchased as a summer and retirement home by Carolina residents, Joseph and Alice Dickenson, who enlarged it to its current form. The cast metal lions were imported from the Carolinas by the Dickensons. The New England influence is evident in the architectural styles. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

232 Clarence Street – Built by lawyer Louis Kinnear in 1904, it was the home of his daughter Judge Helen Kinnear from 1904-1943, the year she became the first federally appointed woman judge in Canada and the Commonwealth. Helen Kinnear was also the first woman in the Commonwealth to be granted in 1934, “King’s Council,” a distinction given to noteworthy lawyers. She was also the first woman lawyer to appear before the Supreme Court of Canada. The house exhibits a combination of Edwardian and Victorian architectural styles. – Port Colborne Book 1

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

155 Main Street West – The Century House – c. 1889 – The early-twentieth century commercial building was constructed in a vernacular version of the Classical Revival style popular in rural Ontario. It has a flat façade with symmetrical window arrangement and a gable end. It is characteristic of small town store construction of mid-nineteenth century combining a first-floor shop with residence above; it incorporates innovations of later-nineteenth century commercial buildings with larger panes of glass in the shop windows and a recessed store entrance. It is now “Deli on Main”. – Port Colborne Book 2

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

145 Main Street West – The Augustine House was built by Elias Augustine circa 1860, it displays a mixture of mid-nineteenth century detail. The gable front arrangement and symmetrical placement of doors and windows are from the Greek Revival style. The semi-elliptical shape of the openings is an Italianate detail. Note the detailed woodwork of the verandah with its small pediment framing the double-leaved front door. Mr. Augustine was an owner of the carriage manufacturing firm of Augustine and Kilmer. Some production for the business was done in a blacksmith shop formerly located behind the house. – Port Colborne Book 2

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

Lift Bridge with ship

Architectural Photos, Port Colborne, Ontario

214 Steele Street – Steele Street Public School – The symmetrical red brick façade trimmed with yellow terra cotta tile with an impressive central pediment show the dignified Edwardian Classical style, the style that was at the height of its popularity in 1915 when the school was built. The school and the street were named for the Steele family who were early settlers of Humberstone Township. – Port Colborne Book 2

Belleville, Ontario – Part 2 – My Top 14 Picks

Belleville, Ontario – Part 2 – My Top 14 Picks

Belleville is a city located at the mouth of the Moira River on the Bay of Quinte in southeastern Ontario. It was the site of a Mississaugas’ village in the eighteenth century. It was settled by United Empire Loyalists beginning in 1784. It was named Belleville in honor of Lady Arabella Gore in 1816, after a visit to the settlement by Sir Francis Gore and his wife.

It is known as the “friendly city” because it offers big city amenities along with small town friendliness, and a pleasing mixture of the historic and modern.

Belleville became an important railway junction with the completion of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1855. In 1858 the iron bridge over the Moira River at Bridge Street was constructed. Belleville’s beautiful High Victorian Gothic city hall was built in 1872 to house the public market and administrative offices.

Due to its location near Lake Ontario, its climate is moderated by cooling hot summer days and warming cold days during the fall and winter.

Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Redpath, and Sears are corporations operating in Belleville. There are many other manufacturing sector companies which operate within the City of Belleville, including Sprague Foods, Sigma Stretch Film Canada, Reid’s Dairy, and Parmalat Canada – Black Diamond Cheese Division, to name a few.

Belleville has an excellent yacht harbor, which is a picturesque stopping point for Great Lakes sailors and a favorite launch for sports fishing enthusiasts after walleye, pike and bass. Beautiful music chimes can be heard all year long from the City Hall clock tower, overlooking the new civic square and Farmers Market. Walking, biking and rollerblading can be enjoyed on the Bayshore and Riverfront Trails.

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

Bridge Street East – Belleville Armouries – The structure brings to mind a medieval fortress as evidenced in the solid brick construction, stone detailing and the use of three-storey towers flanking the entrance of the administrative block. It has a symmetrically organized façade with rough-cut stone window dressings, narrow vertical window openings, and its medieval detailing such as the string courses, copings and battlements. – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

105 Bridge Street East – Italianate – hipped roof, 2½-storey bay with cornice return on gable, banding, Corinthian pillars on veranda, pediment – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

128 Bridge Street East – Queen Anne style – turret, tall decorative chimney, decorative tympanums on the gables, pediment, open railing on the veranda – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

252 Bridge Street East – hipped roof, 2½-storey frontispiece, dichromatic brickwork, bay window – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

257 Bridge Street East – The Phillips-Burrows-Faulknor House – Glanmore National Historic Site – Glanmore’s property was originally a block wide and extended to Highway 2 (Dundas Street). Harriet Phillips inherited this property from George Bleecker, her grandfather. Glanmore reflects the tastes of the well-to-do in late nineteenth century Canada. The grand house, built by local architect Thomas Hanley, was built in 1882-1883 for wealthy banker John Philpot Curran Phillips and his wife Harriet Ann Dougall, the daughter of Belleville’s Judge Benjamin Dougall. It is in the Second Empire style with mansard roof with elaborate cornices and brackets, dormer windows, iron cresting, a built-in gutter system, and multi-colored slate. – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

The North Drawing Room was used by Mr. and Mrs. Phillips for entertaining. Ornate columns divide the North and South areas of the double drawing room. The rooms could also be used as a ballroom when the carpets and furniture were removed. The coffered ceilings feature molded ornamental plaster and hand-painted designs. The decorative ceilings are complemented by the original settees, three-seated chaperone’s chair, and mantle surround. The clutter of decorative objects is typical of late Victorian style.

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

The 9,000 square foot home cost $7,000 to build in 1883. The impressive suspended walnut staircase cost $62.50. The spelter (a zinc alloy) statue lamps and the hanging vigil lamp are displayed in their original locations.

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

52 Queen Street – Queen Anne Villa – 2½-storey bay with trim and fretwork on gable; cornice brackets; bay window with iron cresting above, oriel window on side – Belleville Book 3

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

2 Forin Street – cornice brackets, pediment, transom window above door – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

38 Forin Street – Gothic – verge board trim and finials on gables, round windows in gables, window voussoirs – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

Alexander Street – hipped roof with dormer with a gabled roof and verge board trim and two windows; cornice brackets; two-storey bay window – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

68 North Front Street – Belleville Funeral Home and Chapel – a Victorian mansion – three storey tower; dichromatic corner quoins; Mansard roof with dormers, prominent keystones, drip molds and engaged columns; engaged columns at front entrance with sidelights and transom window – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

80 Highland Avenue – John R. Bush Funeral Home – Second Empire style – Mansard roof with dormers, cornice brackets, banding – Belleville Book 4

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

110 Bridge Street West – built in 1867 by Smith Steven, clerk in the Grand Trunk Railway solicitor’s office – excellent example of a family home owner of modest means; has original 6/6 pane windows, window sills, and shutters; acorn brackets extend under the cornice; the front door has narrow sidelights – Belleville Book 4

Belleville, Ontario – Part 1 – My Top 16 Picks

Belleville, Ontario – Part 1 – My Top 16 Picks

Belleville is a city located at the mouth of the Moira River on the Bay of Quinte in southeastern Ontario. It was the site of a village of the Mississaugas in the eighteenth century. It was settled by United Empire Loyalists beginning in 1784. It was named Belleville in honor of Lady Arabella Gore in 1816, after a visit to the settlement by Sir Francis Gore and his wife.

It is known as the “friendly city” because it offers big city amenities along with small town friendliness, and a pleasing mixture of the historic and modern.

Belleville became an important railway junction with the completion of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1855. In 1858 the iron bridge over the Moira River at Bridge Street was constructed. Belleville’s beautiful High Victorian Gothic city hall was built in 1872 to house the public market and administrative offices.

Due to its location near Lake Ontario, its climate is moderated by cooling hot summer days and warming cold days during the fall and winter.

Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Redpath, and Sears are corporations operating in Belleville.  There are many other manufacturing sector companies which operate within the City of Belleville, including Sprague Foods, Sigma Stretch Film Canada, Reid’s Dairy, and Parmalat Canada – Black Diamond Cheese Division, to name a few.

Belleville has an excellent yacht harbor, which is a picturesque stopping point for Great Lakes sailors and a favorite launch for sports fishing enthusiasts after walleye, pike and bass. Beautiful music chimes can be heard all year long from the City Hall clock tower, overlooking the new civic square and Farmers Market. Walking, biking and rollerblading can be enjoyed on the Bayshore and Riverfront Trails.

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

Church Street – two-storey bay windows, cornice brackets, dormers with iron cresting, widow’s walk on rooftop with iron cresting; 2½-storey section has a hipped roof; 2-storey part has a mansard roof – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

4 Church Street – verge board trim and finial on gable, two-storey bay window, dormers with trim, keystones, sidelights and transom window – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

5 Church Street – hipped roof, cornice brackets, voussoirs with keystones – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

200 John Street – Second Empire style – mansard roof, dormers with window hoods, tall chimneys, bay window – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

221 John Street – Built 1871, two-storey brick with a 2-storey bay; the lintels are off-white brick and match the decorative course surrounding the house at the second floor level; chimneys are Tudor type with brick bases topped with small string courses; front porch has wooden gable roof supported by massive wooden brackets, cornice brackets under eaves – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

159-161 George Street – Italianate – north side has a projecting two-storey bay with a string course above the ground floor windows; south side has a projecting five window bay with carved wood paneling above it; window above has an arched lintel, two-storey frontispiece, gable with verge board trim – heritage property – Belleville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

165 William Street – Arts and Crafts – stone and brick – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

166 William Street – Gothic – trim on gable, ornate capital detailing on veranda support posts with spindle trim below cornice – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

184 William Street – Italianate – two-storey frontispiece with verge board trim and finial on gable, cornice brackets, impressive entrance – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

234 Ann Street (corner of Queen) – Ilcombe – Queen Anne style – three-storey tower, dormer, Ionic veranda pillars – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

228 Charles Street – lots of iron cresting decorating the roof lines, wraparound verandah with open railing, pillars with ornate capitals, pediment with decorated tympanum, sidelights and transom windows – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

233 Charles Street – Second Empire style – mansard roof with dormers and window hoods, brackets and decorative cornice, keystones – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

221 Charles Street – hipped roof with dormers, cornice brackets, bay windows with iron cresting above, pediment – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

197 Charles Street – built 1872-1873 – mixture of Italianate, Victorian, Second Empire and Gothic styles – mansard roof on 3½-storey tower with small Gothic windows and iron cresting; voussoirs and keystones, dentil molding, bay window with brackets, pediment above door – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

160 Charles Street – Second Empire – mansard roof, dormers with window hoods, polychromatic tile work, two-storey wing with ornate capitals on the two-storey veranda with open railing – Belleville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Belleville, Ontario

199 MacDonald Avenue – elaborately spindled railings on both lower and upper wraparound verandahs, Corinthian pillars, finial on gable – Belleville Book 2

Perth, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Perth, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Established in 1816, the era when Upper and Lower Canada were British colonies, Perth was one of three strategic defensive outposts created along the Rideau Corridor after the War of 1812. Named after a town and river in Scotland, this small frontier center, located in a large wilderness tract, became the social, judicial and administrative hub for the Scottish and Irish who settled here. Many of the first settlers were military veterans on half pay, while others were military veterans from France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Scotland or Ireland who were offered land in return for their service. The first Scottish settlers came in 1816. Many of the Scottish immigrants were stonemasons; their work can be seen in many area buildings and in the locks of the Rideau Canal.

In 1823, Perth was named the capital of the District of Bathurst, and this attracted a large number of wealthy and educated settlers. When the Rideau Canal was built as a safe inland military route from Kingston to Ottawa between 1826 and 1832, it created a local economic boom. The Tay Canal, from Perth to the Lower Rideau Lake, was first constructed in the 1830s and rebuilt in the 1880s as a commercial waterway. The Tay has become a recreational and tourism area.

The last fatal duel was fought between two young law students on the banks of the Tay River on June 13, 1833, for a lady’s honor. In 1892, Perth produced the world’s biggest cheddar; it was made from 207,200 pounds of milk and was six feet high, twenty-eight feet in circumference and weighed 22,000 pounds. The mammoth cheese was shipped by train to the Chicago World’s Fair the following year.

Perth is the site of the first installation of a telephone other than Bell’s experimental installations. A town dentist, Dr. J. F. Kennedy, a friend of Alexander Graham Bell, installed a direct telephone connection between his home and office. By 1887, there were 19 telephones in Perth, with a switchboard in Dr. Kennedy’s office.

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

31 Foster Street – Italianate – dormer in attic, frontispiece with decorative window hoods, Doric pillars supporting second floor balconies, tall decorative chimneys

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

32 Foster Street – dormer, decorative cornice, prominent voussoirs over windows, Doric pillars on stone piers supporting second floor balcony

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

36 Wilson Street East – St. John Convent – 1905 – primarily Gothic with some French Canadian features – stone – center Jacobean gable, bay window with round windows

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

53 Wilson Street West – dichromatic brickwork, spindles and bric-a-brac below porch roof; pediment

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

20 Isabella Street – Within the peak is a decorative arch with spindle and stenciling

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

22 Isabella Street – hipped roof with dormer, dichromatic voussoirs and banding

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

27 Isabella Street – Italianate, 2½ storey tower-like bay with pediment, dentil molding band

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

1 Drummond Street West – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church – built 1832, rebuilt 1898 – Gothic Revival, lancet windows, battlemented tower, buttresses

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

26 Drummond Street West – Second Empire – mansard roof, dormers with window hoods, tower, voussoirs and keystones, turned veranda roof supports with decorative capitals

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

53 Drummond Street East – stone central portion has a mansard-type roof with dormers, oriel window, and cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

Corner of Gore and Harvey Streets – McMartin House – c. 1831 – erected by United Empire Loyalist descendant, Daniel McMartin, Perth’s second lawyer – basic Neo-classical style, and then embellished with unique stylistic features such as recessed arches and a cupola (belvedere) with flanking side lanterns (Federalist style) – widow’s walk on roof

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

77 Gore Street East (corner of Basin Street) – The McMillan Building – 1907 – former Carnegie Library – Beaux Arts style – pediments, pilasters with composite capitals, elaborate keystones

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

80 Gore Street East – Town Hall – 1863-1864 – local sandstone, frontispiece topped by an elaborate wood cornice, a boxed gable, elaborate bell and clock tower/cupola was added in 1874, architectural detailing in both wood and stone

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

66 Craig Street – Inge-Va (a Tamil word meaning “come here”) Museum – local sandstone house – 1824 – Colonial Georgian style of an Ontario cottage – balanced façade, sidelights and transom

Architectural Photos, Perth, Ontario

50 Herriot Street – Kininvie (meaning “where my family lives”) was built of reddish sandstone in 1906 for textile manufacturer Thomas A. Code – grand Edwardian – said to have been heated by steam from the factory across the street

Westport and Port Elmsley, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Westport and Port Elmsley, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Westport

Westport is a village in Eastern Ontario. It lies at the west end of Upper Rideau Lake, at the head of the navigable Rideau Canal system, between Kingston and Ottawa. The first settlers to the Westport area arrived in the period between 1810 and 1820. The land was originally granted by the Crown to a Mr. Hunter, but he never settled in the area and the land was purchased by Reuben Sherwood in 1817. Some of this land was later purchased by the Stoddard and Manhard families. Sawmills built by Sheldon Stoddard and the Manhard brothers in 1828-32, during the construction of the Rideau Canal, fostered the development of Westport.  Grist mills and wharves were soon erected and by 1848 a post office was established.  Within a decade the hamlet had three hundred residents and several prosperous businesses, including the General Store of Declan Foley and mills of William H. Fredenburgh, a prominent lumber exporter.  The community’s growth was stimulated by agricultural prosperity and the construction of the Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway, completed in 1888 between Brockville and Westport, a distance of forty-five miles.  With several takeovers, the railway continued to run until 1952.

Port Elmsley

Port Elmsley is located in eastern Ontario in Lanark County on the north shore of the Rideau River between the town of Perth and the town of Smiths Falls.

Architectural Photos, Westport, Ontario

45 Main Street – The Prospector’s Wife – corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Westport, Ontario

18 Church Street – built late 1880s as the home and shop of A.M. Craig, inventor of the one-piece harness buckle; Catholic Women’s League Hall from 1921 to 1988; now Cottage Country – mansard roof with dormers

Architectural Photos, Westport, Ontario

11 Church Street – Italianate style – hip roof, dormer, Ionic capitals on verandah pillars

Architectural Photos, Westport, Ontario

8 Mill Street – hip roof, paired cornice brackets, sash windows

Architectural Photos, Port Elmseley

Port Elmsley – cornice return on gable

Portland and Newboro, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Portland and Newboro, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Portland is a community located in Eastern Ontario within the township of Rideau Lakes in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. It is north of Kingston and situated on Big Rideau Lake.

Portland was first settled in the early nineteenth century as one of the first settlements along the Rideau Waterway. With the completion of the Rideau Canal Waterway in 1832, steamboats and barges carried raw materials such as cordwood, maple syrup, potash, cheese, tanned hides and salt beef. Portland became a thriving village of trade with Kingston, Montreal and Ottawa.

The village of Portland took its name in 1843 from William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, a British Whig and Tory statesman, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and served as Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1783 and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1807 to 1809.

By the 1860s, the settlement had expanded considerably to require five hotels and, by the early twentieth century, cottages were built around the lake and the tourist trade began. Advances in rail and road travel and increasing tourism offset a decline in the role of agriculture in the economy of Portland. Tourism began to lead the economy and still does to this day.

An international speed skating tournament called Skate the Lake is held each winter on the Big Rideau Lake at Portland.

The settlement of the Newboro area was begun during the construction of the Rideau Canal in 1826-32. A major construction camp was located here at the Isthmus between the Rideau and Mud (Newboro) Lakes. In 1833, Benjamin Tett, owner of a nearby sawmill, opened a store and three years later a post office named Newborough was established. A small community including several stores developed as a trade center for the region’s lumbering industry and agriculture. About 1850 a tannery was established and within ten years two iron mines were opened. The ore was exported via the Rideau to smelters in the United States. A foundry and a steam sawmill stimulated growth.

In 1888, a branch of the Brockville-Westport & S.S.M. Railroad came to Newboro.  Trade and travel were now year-round. Produce of local farm and forest entered wider markets through Newboro’s cannery and mills. From Newboro Station, local scholars went to and from high school in Athens and Brockville.

Architectural Photos, Portland, Ontario

35 Colborne Street, Portland – The Gingerbread House – c. 1880s-1890s – Gothic Revival – gingerbread trim with finial on the front gable

Architectural Photos, Portland, Ontario

12 Newboro Road – Crosby Public School S.S. #2 – 1907 – now the site of Grace Varley’s Art Gallery; separate entrances for boys and girls, tin roof, bell tower, voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

Newboro – #42 – Gothic – dichromatic voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

Newboro – Victorian – dichromatic voussoirs, verandah pillars with ornate capitals, open railing

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

24 Drummond Street, Newboro – Italianate – Union Bank Building – cornice brackets, second floor balcony, voussoirs, string course

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

7 Drummond Street – The J.T. Gallagher House – c. 1885 – Gothic Revival style – 2½ storeys tall, 2 storey bay, extensive dripped barge board, locally quarried sandstone lintels; ornate polychromatic slate roof; tall decorative chimneys

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

#18, Newboro – hip roof with dormer, dentil molding

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

11 New Street – The John Draffin House – c. 1860 – first stone building constructed in Newboro – Italianate – corner quoins with large ashlars; cornice brackets, two round-headed doors opening onto balcony above porch; sidelights and transom – between 1895 and 1945 this was the parsonage for St. Mary’s Church

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

14 By Street – The John Poole Tett House – c. 1896 – Victorian – tall, imposing windows; bay window; cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

4 Main Street – The R.O. Leggett House and Shop – c. 1870 – furniture and undertaking establishment – intricate treillage work on the veranda posts of the home; large windows of business

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

5 Main Street – John Webster House – c. 1860s – Classical Revival style – entrance has a rectangular transom with sidelights to let natural light into the central hallway before there was electricity; bracketed shelf above door; Doric engaged columns flanking the sidelights; central casement window has a fanlight transom above it

Architectural Photos, Newboro, Ontario

14 Main Street – The Richard Blake House – c. 1858 – Ontario Cottage – 1½ storeys; gable window over front doorway provided light to a central hallway on the upper floor; intricate treillage work on the veranda posts, open railing

Smiths Falls, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Smiths Falls, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Smiths Falls is a town in Eastern Ontario located fourteen miles east of Perth. The Rideau Canal waterway passes through the town, with four separate locks in three locations and a combined lift of over fifteen meters (fifty feet). The city is named after Thomas Smyth, a United Empire Loyalist who in 1786 was granted 400 acres here. In 1846, there were fifty dwellings, two grist mills (one with four run of stones), two sawmills, one carding and fulling mill, seven stores, six groceries, one axe factory, six blacksmiths, two wheelwrights, one cabinet maker, one chair-maker, three carpenters, one gunsmith, eleven shoemakers, seven tailors, one tinsmith and two taverns.

At the time of construction of the Rideau Canal a small settlement had been established around a mill operated by Abel Russell Ward, who had bought Smyth’s land. Colonel By ordered the removal of Ward’s mill to make way for the canal. The disruption of industry caused by the building of the canal was only temporary, and Smiths Falls grew rapidly following construction.

The Rideau Canal area is home to a variety of ecosystems. The land along the Rideau that was once logged is now home to deep-rooted deciduous and coniferous forests that have been maturing for over one hundred years. Where the landscape flattens, there are cedar/hardwood swamps, bogs and cattail marshes which support the healthy wildlife population.

Architectural Photos, Smiths Falls, Ontario

110 Elmsley Street North – 2½-storey tower-like bay with pediment and fretwork; dormer

Architectural Photos, Smiths Falls, Ontario

16 Maple Avenue – Victorian Cottage style – c. late 1890s – double bay windows, high gables decorated with detailed wood trim and finials, fretwork, voussoirs and keystones, dichromatic brickwork and banding; upper exterior porch; elegant entrance

Architectural Photos, Smiths Falls, Ontario

40 William Street – Victorian – iron cresting around balcony above bay window; turned veranda roof supports with decorative capitals and spindles

Architectural Photos, Smiths Falls, Ontario

Russell Street East corner of Market Street – Trinity United Church – 1886 – Queen Anne style – three non-symmetrical towers, various shaped windows, rose window, beveled dentil molding

Architectural Photos, Smiths Falls, Ontario

84 Lombard Street – Gothic – finials and trim on gables, corner quoins, voussoirs with keystones, second floor balcony; bay window with cornice brackets; turned spindle roof supports for veranda

Architectural Photos, Smiths Falls, Ontario

78 Brockville Street at corner of Lombard Street – built by Ogle Carss, an early mayor of the town – 1895 – Queen Anne Revival style – irregular outline, broad gables, multi-sloped roofs, a belvedere, a tower, ornamental cast iron railings on the roof; long, graceful wraparound verandah; stone voussoirs over semi-circular windows with transoms

Architectural Photos, Smiths Falls, Ontario

102 Brockville Street – Italianate – steeply pitched hip roof with dormer; cornice brackets, voussoirs; turned veranda roof supports with decorative capitals, open railing; pediment

Smiths Falls, Ontario

Bascule Bridge – located west of the Detached Locks – a rolling-lift railway bridge built in 1914, now in a permanently raised position – it works like a seesaw – on one end a hinged counter weight drops causing the other end to rise – it was the solution to the point where the railway and canal intersected

Merrickville, Ontario – My Top 16 Picks

Merrickville, Ontario – My Top 16 Picks

The United Empire Loyalists were the first non-aboriginal people to settle in the Merrickville area.  Beginning in 1783, they were forced to leave the United States after the British defeat in the American War of Independence.  Most of these settlers were farmers of Welsh, German, Dutch, Scottish and Irish descent.  By settling along the Rideau River, they had access to rich soil, a source of fresh water, and a communication lifeline as the river could keep them connected to each other and to other communities along its banks.  In 1793, William Merrick acquired a saw mill from Roger Stevens at the “Great Falls” on the Rideau River (there was a drop of fourteen feet in the river), and then began building new mills which formed the nucleus of Merricks Mills.

As industry grew, farms provided the mills with resources to process.  Lumber, corn, oats, wheat, hides, and wool kept the mills running and ensured the region’s growing prosperity.  Transporting agricultural goods and raw materials such as pig iron became even easier with the construction of the Rideau Canal.  From the 1850s to the 1890s, Merrickville was a very important manufacturing center along the Rideau corridor.

Wheels and tools to cut, saw, seed, cultivate, harvest and store agricultural crops were very important.  In the 1850s Merrickville leached wood ashes and evaporated the liquid to make potash; they produced twenty barrels, each weighing five hundred pounds, in a year.  Potash was used in fertilizers, soaps and other manufactured goods.  A cooperage in Merrickville was established in 1845; coopers produced butter churns, tubs, and barrels (for flour, salt pork, etc.).  Several brickyards offered an alternative to wood and stone for building materials.  Several tanneries were located here; they produced leather from animal skins.

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

905 St. Lawrence Street – The Aaron Merrick House – built in 1844 of local stone with refined stone window surrounds and oversized stone quoins for the son of the founder

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

806 St. Lawrence Street – Gothic, verge board trim, decorative wood-turned spindles supporting second floor balcony

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

529 St. Lawrence Street – mansard roof, dormers, corner quoins, voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

405 St. Lawrence Street – Dr. J. O. Walker House, c. 1870 – Family Physician (1912-1946) – hip roof, dormer

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

242 St. Lawrence Street – John Mills’ Furniture Showroom and Funeral Home – c. 1868 – operated until the 1930s – corner quoins, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

111 St. Lawrence Street – Jakes-McLean Block – c. 1862 – Baldachin Inn and Restaurant – dentil molding, pilasters, string courses, voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

211 St. Lawrence Street – Windsor’s Courtyard, fine garden and home décor – dichromatic brickwork, stepped parapet

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

Main Street West – hip roof, corner quoins, voussoirs and keystones

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

223 Main Street West – Royal Canadian Legion – old Town Hall – c. 1856 – stone, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

205 Main Street West – Queen Anne style – corner tower, dormer with Palladian window, turned veranda roof supports, open railing

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

Block House – 1832 – could accommodate fifty men – 3.5 foot walls designed to withstand small cannon fire; pyramidal tin-sheathed roof to withstand torching; upper level overhang allowed for machicolated defense holes cut in the overhang to allow downward fire on an enemy; no military action here – served as lockmaster’s quarters, a church, and a canal maintenance building – now a museum

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

206 Main Street East – Percival House (Ardcaven) – c. 1890 – Richardsonian-Romanesque style – home of foundry-man Roger Percival – heavy stone arch around door, decorative chimney, two-storey bay window topped with open pediment, dormer, tower, stone courses

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

111 Main Street East – Pearson House – c. 1890 – Gothic Revival – former location of the Merrickville Public Library – verge board trim with finials on gables, dormer, bay window; veranda roof supports with ornate capital detailing

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

Church Street – Gothic – verge board trim on gable above bay window, dormers, pillars with decorative capitals

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

405 Elgin Street – decorative capitals on veranda supports, open spindle railing; dormer in attic

Architectural Photos, Merrickville, Ontario

212 Lewis Street East – log cabin

Brockville, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Brockville, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Brockville, formerly Elizabethtown, is a city in Eastern Ontario in the Thousand Islands region located on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River opposite Morristown, New York.  It is about halfway between Cornwall to the east and Kingston to the west.  It is one of Ontario’s oldest European-Canadian communities and is named after the British General Sir Isaac Brock.

This area of Ontario was first settled by English speaking people in 1785, when thousands of American refugees arrived from the American colonies after the American Revolutionary War.  They were later called United Empire Loyalists because of their allegiance to King George III. The struggle between Britain and the 13 American colonies occurred in the years 1776 to 1783, and divided loyalties among the people.  During the 6-year war, which ended with the capitulation of the British in 1782, many colonists who remained loyal to the crown were subject to harsh reprisals and unfair dispossession of their property by their countrymen. Many Loyalists chose to flee north to the British colony of Quebec. Great Britain opened the western region of Canada (known as Upper Canada and now Ontario), purchasing land from First Nations to allocate to the Loyalists in compensation for their losses, and helping them with some supplies as they founded new settlements.  In 1785 the first Loyalist to take up land in Brockville was William Buell Senior, an ensign disbanded from the King’s Rangers from the State of New York.

In the 19th century the town developed as a local center of industry, including shipbuilding, saddleries, tanneries, tinsmiths, a foundry, a brewery, and several hotels.

In 1855, Brockville was chosen as a divisional point of the new Grand Trunk Railway between Montreal and Toronto.  At the same time, the north–south line of the Brockville and Ottawa Railway was built to join the timber trade of the Ottawa Valley with the St. Lawrence River ship route. A well-engineered tunnel for this railway was dug and blasted underneath the middle of Brockville. The Brockville Tunnel was the first railway tunnel in Canada.

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

12-14 Court House Avenue – Thomas Fuller Building – former Post Office – 1883-85 – A stone post office, blending Flemish, Queen Anne and Classical elements; a good example of the post offices erected by the Department of Public Works in smaller urban centers during Thomas Fuller’s term as Chief Dominion Architect.

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

21 Court House Avenue – Hubbell’s Building c. 1825 – Law Offices Stewart Corbett – window hoods with cornice brackets, semi-circular transom and sidelights

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

1 King Street East – Victoria Hall and East Ward Market Building – 1863 – designed to show off the success and taste of Brockville s inhabitants – built as a combination concert hall, office space and indoor market house – stone building, intricate detailing, and beautiful clock tower

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

112 King Street East – Alexander Allan House – c. 1880 -Victorian Villa in the Stick Style – irregular in shape, three bays, clapboard sided, four stories, tower, mansard roof, iron cresting, cornice brackets, window hoods, trefoil designs on house and veranda supports

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

119 King Street East – Italianate – dormer with broken pediment and decorated tympanum; hipped roof; paired cornice brackets; composite pillars supporting veranda with pediment and decorative tympanum

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

135 King Street East – Brace Terrace (131-135) – c. 1896 – two storey circular tower; dormer, dentil molding; wood turned porch supports

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

King Street East – Hip roof, dormers, second floor balcony, pediment above verandah supported by rectangular and circular pillars, rectangular bay window

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

165 King Street East – Romanesque style, tower, Palladian window in gable with cornice return, large decorative chimney, round window arch, circular window, open pediment, enclosed veranda

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

181 King Street East – Gill House – 1878 additions of roof and wings – Second Empire style, mansard roof, dormers, window hoods with keystones, iron cresting around rooftop balcony, central tower, bay windows

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

163-165 Church Street – verge board trim on gable, dormers, pediments

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

12 Victoria Avenue – Queen Anne style – tower, iron cresting; stone keystones and banding; verge board trim, finials; bay windows; veranda with Doric columns

Architectural Photos, Brockville, Ontario

10 Victoria Avenue – Queen Anne style – turret with stone lintels, corbelling and banding; 2-storey bay windows

Morrisburg, Ontario – My Top 11 Picks

Morrisburg, Ontario – My Top 11 Picks

In 1997, Morrisburg was amalgamated with the Village of Iroquois, Matilda and Williamsburg Townships into the Township of South Dundas, in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River.  The county was named in 1792 to honor Henry Dundas, who was Lord Advocate for Scotland and Colonial Secretary at the time. Matilda and Williamsburgh were two of Upper Canada’s original eight Royal Townships.

On November 11, 1813, the Battle of Crysler’s Farm, at which a British force repelled an invading American army, took place near here.  United Empire Loyalists settled in Dundas County creating West Williamsburg; it was part of the Williamsburg Canal project. Between 1843 and 1856, canals were built on the north side of the St. Lawrence River.  West Williamsburg was renamed Morrisburg in 1851 in honor of Brockville politician, James Morris, who was the first Postmaster General of the United Provinces of Canada.  By 1860, Morrisburg had a growing manufacturing base consisting of a gristmill, a carding mill and a fanning mill.  The Grand Trunk Railroad reached Morrisburg in 1855. A hydroelectric power plant was built in 1901.

During the 1950s, portions of Morrisburg were relocated because of expected flooding which would occur with the St. Lawrence Seaway project.  Over eighty homes were moved and the entire downtown business district was demolished and relocated in a shopping plaza.  The Canadian National Railway line was moved about a kilometer north of its original location.  Much of the former rail bed was used for reconstructing Highway 2.  Buildings and other artifacts were moved and assembled to create Upper Canada Village, a tribute to the area’s pioneers.

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

22 Lakeshore Drive – Second Empire – built 1879 – mansard roof, rounded dormers, heavy cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

31 Lakeshore Drive – Second Empire style – projecting central tower, concave mansard roof, dormers; has eighteen stained glass windows, each with a different color scheme

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

48 Lakeshore Drive – Italianate, paired cornice brackets, decorative porch and verandah supports; transom

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

50 Lakeshore Drive – Victorian – two-storey bay windows with iron cresting above, widow’s walk balcony on rooftop with iron cresting, dormers with finials; verandah with ornate capital detailing on the support posts with spindles under the cornice

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

Lakeshore Drive – Georgian style – hipped roof, balanced façade, bay windows

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

36 First Street – Russell Manor Bed and Breakfast – Second Empire style, mansard roof, cornice brackets, patterned slate roof, bay window

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

16 First Street – Gothic Revival – built 1870s – wide, bold barge boards, central pinnacle suspended beneath the peak ending in a knob-like pendant above the third floor window; intricate cut-out patterns adorning the gable ends

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

24 High Street – Gothic Revival style – symmetrical organization, steeply pitched roof gables, tall twin window bays; dichromatic brickwork; transom windows

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

52 High Street – Neo-colonial – gambrel roof

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

19 St. Lawrence Street – Italianate Villa – built 1876 – wrought iron fence; corner tower with its tall, four-sided lantern contains four pairs of Italianate round headed windows; classic Italianate porch and front door

Architectural Photos, Morrisburg, Ontario

29 St. Lawrence Street – Second Empire – central tower directly above the front door topped with a belvedere; mansard roof with dormers